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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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citizenship. On our part we shall gladly agree to such a criterion, for we
have no desire to have citizens who do not wish to be Polish citizens.
I must, however, emphasize that a large number of practical issues are
bound up with the citizenship problem. Of these I will mention the
continuation of relief to our people and permission for individuals to go
abroad without of course burdening Soviet railways engaged in war
transport. I have in mind particularly Polish children and the families
still left in the U.S.S.R. of soldiers serving in the Polish Army in Great
Britain and in the Near East, and also families of Polish State officials and
welfare workers. The fact that they are separated from their bread winners
can neither be explained nor understood by any one...........
Romer : Reverting to the subject of citizenship, in view of the practical
consequences involved for hundreds of thousands of our people and thus
also for Polish-Soviet relations, I must insist that this be settled not
unilaterally but by mutual agreement between our two governments. It is
unthinkable that a large and valuable portion of our Nation be thus abruptly
cut off against its will from the rest.
Stalin : If we consider the Ukrainians and White Ruthenians as nations,
we must recognize that a reunion (vossoyedinienie) has taken place between
the lands they inhabit and Soviet White Ruthenia and Soviet Ukraine.
Surely the Ukrainians are not Poles ! Surely the White Ruthenians are
not Poles ! We have not joined a single Polish province to the Soviet
Union. All Polish territories have been occupied by the Germans.
Romer : Since you refer to the plebiscites in our Eastern provinces,
Mr. President, I must recall that they were carried out within the boundaries
set up by the German-Soviet agreement which was subsequently solemnly
repudiated in the Polish-Soviet Agreement of July 30, 1941.
Stalin : It was the German attack on the U.S.S.R. that rendered the
German-Soviet agreement invalid, and especially the non-aggression pact.
Romer : At the time the Soviet Union took our territory we were in
opposite camps, and we have not recognized any acts of violence committed
at our expense. Since July 30, 1941, we are in the same anti-German
camp, which entitles us to expect that no changes will be made in the lands
that are ours or in our fundamental rights without our agreement. In
default of this we must maintain the attitude that the former Polish-Soviet
frontiers, established by the Treaty of Riga, remain always in force. . . .
Romer : We must have a friendly discussion on all subjects of friction
between our two Governments, a friction that is of no benefit to either
party but only serves Germany. It is in such a spirit that the problems
connected with relief for Polish citizens in the U.S.S.R. and with their
departure should be discussed.
Stalin :   What problems ?
Romer : This is a historical moment which will decide the course of
Polish-Soviet relations for many years to come. We must approach the
decisions it calls for with mutual and full understanding and good will,
excluding for the time being from our discussions such matters as cannot
now be decided and which, if raised, merely lead to friction in Polish-Soviet
relations and provoke public controversies.
Stalin : The Soviet Government keeps consistently silent on the subject
and so should the Polish Government.
Romer : It is easier to remain silent when one is acquiring something
than when one is losing it. As a result of the Soviet Note of January 16,
1943, we are threatened with a loss of several hundred thousands of our